ALL THE LATEST NEWS, VIEWS AND STORIES FROM AROUND YOUR LOCAL AREA:MAY/JUNE
It’s been six months since I last wrote in the Cockermouth Post. You would think that would mean I have an abundance of hilarious tales to tell from a stash of anecdotes I’ve been accumulating in this time, but that’s not quite the case. When Helen and Mike got in touch to say that it was back up and running, I instantly regretted not taking notes.
So, what has or hasn’t happened during the last six months?
NOTHING TO SEE HERE! Whether you wanted to remain or leave, many of you will have expected Britain to have left the European Union by now. It seems like the powers that be have pretty much taken my approach to putting together material for my article over the last 6 months.
Pharmacy and the supply chain for medication have become a significant part of Brexit concerns and promises. For many reasons, we have seen a surge in product shortages over the last few months, with run of the mill medications becoming impossible to get hold of. I’ve had both local and national media representatives call me to discuss the issues we are facing and I could tell that they wanted me to say that they were down to Brexit. I was very careful not to say this, as Brexit is showing no sign of happening.
The uncertainty over Brexit isn’t helping with the supply issues we face and I do fear that these issues will worsen. It appears that manufacturers and wholesalers are watching the Brexit shambles and holding on to stock to see how it best suits their businesses needs, contrary to the altruism our Health Secretary believes they will act with.
So, turning up at your pharmacy saying you prefer red, blue or green tablets with pink spots on may not get you very far once this mess unfolds.
GETTING THE NEEDLE!
You will be pretty glad that I wasn’t writing an article at the time we were doing our flu vaccination service.
Although it turned out that we administered more vaccines than ever before and may well have administered the most of any pharmacy in the country again this year, I can’t pretend that it was an entirely pleasant experience.
This was down to the supply of the new vaccine for the over 65’s being rationed by it’s single manufacturer. This resulted in us having to reserve vaccines for patients and having periods between deliveries where up to 500 patients had vaccines reserved for them.
Although we did well in that we received our vaccine early and had ordered extra to try to overcome some of the inevitable problems, it still left some patients unhappy as we could not run our popular ‘drop-in’ service like in previous years.
There were moments where I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as I got a glimpse of what a post-apocalyptical Britain would look like as I had:
Patients I’d never seen before getting shirty as they couldn’t walk in and get a vaccine right away as we only had vaccines for those who’d reserved one.
Patients telling me to give them someone else’s vaccine as their need was greatest.
Patients turning up from Egremont and listing all the pharmacies they’d tried before showing up at our place. How to make a guy feel special
I even had people pretending to be on the reservation list when it was pretty clear that they weren’t.
Thankfully, there is to be no such rationing of vaccine this year so we should be back to the good old days of no reserved list and a fast and efficient service.
A NUMBERS’ GAME!
The surgery recently introduced a new telephone system requiring you to select a number for the place that you want to collect your prescription from before leaving your message. We’d hoped that numbers would be allocated alphabetically, but we are number four so please be careful when selecting as if you don’t select FOUR then your prescription won’t come to us. Also try not to curse like one patient did and then had it replayed to them!
Nat Mitchell WWW.THECOCKERMOUTHPOST.CO.UK
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m | 01900 822 292 ISSUE 431 | 23 MAY 2019 | 13
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